Can Guppies and Goldfish Live Together?

Have you ever wondered if guppies and goldfish can go together? Does your goldfish tank feel too empty? Guppies would spruce up the tank with their vivid colors and the way they dart about the tank.

It may seem like a good idea to house guppies and goldfish together, and it is possible, but we don’t recommend it. They aren’t the best tankmates for each other, although it’s a possible task. If you choose to keep the two fish together, there are a few things you’ll need to do to keep both your fish comfortable.

Keep reading to find out how to house these two conflicting species.

In short – their housing requirements are not close enough for them to live happily together. Plus, once your goldfish get big enough, your guppy would likely become goldfish food.

With that said, people have successfully housed these two fishes. We’ve included a guide below to show you how to keep goldfish and guppies together.

But first, why don’t guppies and goldfish make good tankmates?

Fish Tank Requirements

Guppies and goldfish need different things in their tank to be happy.

Coldwater VS Tropical Fish

Goldfish are coldwater fish while guppies are tropical. If you make the tank a bit warmer to accommodate the guppies, then the goldfish will suffer, and vice versa.

Goldfish are coldwater fish that thrive in cooler temperatures. Most goldfish species can even survive in temperatures as low as 40° F (4.4° C). They thrive in temperatures around 65-72° F (18°- 22° C). Although this is much warmer than what they can survive, it’s also not warm enough for a tropical species.

But, guppies need water that is 72-78˚F (22-25° C) because they are tropical fish. Anything lower than that, and they’ll suffer.

Will Goldfish Eat Guppies?

Guppies are likely to become a snack for your goldfish. Goldfish are not aggressive hunters. But, they are opportunistic and will eat anything they can fit in their mouths.

The upside is that guppies are prolific breeders who give birth to live babies. Many people who keep guppies find themselves overwhelmed with babies.

So, if you don’t mind some guppies becoming a snack, they may actually make a nice addition. They will act as a continuous food source for your goldfish while sprucing up your tank.

But, keep in mind that it can be dangerous for your goldfish to eat the guppies. They often see something that looks good to eat, not realizing that it’s too big.

If you have smaller goldfish, they may choke on the guppies they’re trying to eat. Unfortunately, this could lead to the death of both your fish.

The Pros

Despite the difficulties, there are some advantages to housing guppies and goldfish together.

Guppies Are Fun To Watch

Guppies are beautiful little fish who are fast swimmers. Goldfish don’t come in many colors, so it’s nice to have vibrant little fish flitting about the tank.

Pest Control

Both of these fish love to eat pests and will help to keep the tank clean.

The advantage to having both in the tank is their size difference. The guppies are likely to eat the smaller pests that the goldfish won’t touch, and vice versa.

Goldfish are more likely to eat the snails while the guppies will focus on the hydra or mosquito larva.

Algae Control

Another great thing about housing guppies and goldfish is algae control. Goldfish create a lot of waste. Excess waste is likely to produce excess algae growth. Goldfish won’t eat algae, but guppies will. Guppies love algae and will pick it off of the sides of the tank and decorations.


Luckily, guppies and goldfish are both omnivores with similar diets. They should both eat a primary flake diet. Still, you’ll need to provide different kinds of flakes. Guppies will be happy with tropical flakes, while goldfish should receive goldfish flakes.

You should give them plant matter as well. Both fish love to dine on live plants, and guppies can use the plants as a hiding spot.

Make sure to give them an occasional meaty snack as well. Some good options include daphnia and brine shrimp, either alive or frozen.

The Cons

There are some advantages to keeping the two together, but the cons outweigh the pros.

Your Goldfish Will Eat Your Guppies

If your goldfish finds your guppies, they will eat them. Goldfish are opportunistic and will eat anything that fits in their mouth.

Water Temperature

As we mentioned above, guppies and goldfish have different water temperature requirements. These requirements overlap slightly, but you have to watch the temperature. If you don’t, one of your fish is going to be unhappy, and may even become ill.

How To Successfully House Guppies & Goldfish

It can be difficult to keep these two fish together, but it’s possible if you do everything right.

Water Temperature

As we mentioned above, guppies and goldfish have different water temperature requirements. Goldfish need (18°- 22° C) while guppies need 72-78˚F (22-25° C).

When temperature conditions are too low or high, a fish’s immune system suffers. This leaves them more susceptible to disease.

Still, it’s possible to keep guppies and goldfish together. Their optimal temperatures do overlap somewhat. Goldfish are happy at their high end of 72° F (22° C) which is also the guppy’s low end.

If you buy an adjustable heater, then this is possible. Set the heater to keep both fish happy. Just be sure to keep an eye on the temperature to make sure it’s not fluctuating.

Hiding Spots

As we mentioned, goldfish will eat your guppies if they have access to them.

This means that you need to provide lots of hiding spots in the aquarium habitat for your guppies. Guppy grass is a great idea as well as providing lots of leafy plants. You should also pick decorations with holes that are too small for the goldfish to enter.

Some of the best live plants to provide your guppies are Vallisneria, Ludwigia, and Elodea. Floating plants are also a great idea as the trailing roots give the fry a place to hide. You can try floating plants like dwarf water lettuce or Amazon frogbit.

Providing decorations is especially important if you plan to breed your guppies. The fry is tiny and slow, so they will be in greater danger from your goldfish.

Choose Fancy Goldfish

For the sake of your guppies, pick fancy goldfish over common or comet goldfish. Comets and common goldfish have streamlined bodies. This makes them fast swimmers with great dexterity.

Fancy goldfish have large, rounded bodies with flowy fins. This makes them slow, awkward swimmers. Your guppies will be much less likely to get eaten if housed with fancy goldfish.

Have A Large Tank

Goldfish need to have a big aquarium tank to begin with. This is especially important if you want to house guppies and goldfish together. A large tank will provide plenty of hiding spaces for your guppies. It will also provide adequate swimming space for both fish.

If you’re housing both, the smallest aquaruim tank size you should buy is a 40-gallon. A 30-gallon tank is the bare minimum for a single goldfish. The extra 10 gallons will provide adequate space for the guppies.

If you want more than one goldfish, you’ll need a larger tank. You should add an extra 10 gallons for every extra goldfish, or for every 5-6 guppies.

Good Tankmates For Guppies

While it’s possible to house guppies and goldfish, we still don’t recommend it. Here’s a short list of fish that would make great tank mates for guppies:

Good Tankmates For Goldfish

Likewise, there are some fish that are better suited for goldfish than guppies:

What Else Should You Know?

Now that you know the ins and outs of keeping guppies and goldfish in the same fish tank, you might have some other questions.

Can A Guppy Mate With A Goldfish?

The answer to this is definitely no. Guppies and goldfish are two different species of fish, so they can not mate.

Besides that, guppies are live bearers, while goldfish produce eggs. They’re simply not compatible.

Guppy Nipping Goldfish — What’s Happening?

If this happens, it’s likely because your guppy is being territorial. Guppies are generally peaceful. Still, they can become aggressive if their aquarium is too small or if they’re experiencing stress. Male guppies in particular can be aggressive and may nip at other fish to show dominance.

Goldfish have long, delicate, flowy fins. They can suffer damage easily by a nipping guppy. If this behavior continues, you’ll want to consider separating them.


Although we don’t recommend housing guppies and goldfish in the same fish tank, it is possible.

Just remember, you’ll need to provide your guppies with lots of hiding spots. You’ll also need to keep your goldfish well fed.

If you do this, you just might have a good guppy and goldfish aquarium!

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